By John Anderson
Most 7 years olds don’t know the difference between an ALCO RS-3 and an EMD GP7 locomotive, but their fathers might. If you are 7, model railroading is an observational thrill. From the locomotives, to the miniature figures, to the realistic sounds, it is one great experience.
On the last Sunday of every February, the Worcester Model Railroaders hold their annual show and sale at the Auburn Elks as well as an open house at their Dudley clubhouse.
On February 23rd, about 500 guests attended the Auburn show and reviewed the offerings from 25 dealers. The other draw for this event is the HO scale modular layout belonging to Amherst Beltlines, a specialty group of the 450 member Amherst Railway Society.
The finished size of the layout was 18×30 feet, about as big as it could be in the Elks’ building, and included 20 sections. The modules are 2’ wide and 2’, 4’, or 6’ long. The corners are take up a 4×4’ area. The center of the oval is largely open and gives the operators a place to work.
There were also two 4’ bridge sections, one of which could swing up to allow club members to enter the center of the oval without “ducking under.” The best way to understand a modular layout is to come to a show and view one.
It is a lot of work to put together a modular layout, but the Amherst Beltlines uses the Auburn show as a training event for its members. Their efforts were certainly appreciated by all the attendees and the Worcester Model Railroaders as well.
If you have an interest in joining the Worcester club, check out their web site www.wmrr.org